Investing.com - Silver prices advanced for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to the European Central Bank’s policy statement scheduled later in the day, as well as weekly jobless claims data in the U.S.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver for March delivery traded at USD19.98 a troy ounce during European morning hours, up 0.9%.
The March contract rose to USD20.33 an ounce on Wednesday, the most since January 24, before paring gains to settle at USD19.80 an ounce, up 1.97%.
Silver futures were likely to find support at USD19.26 a troy ounce, the low from February 4 and resistance at USD20.04, the high from February 5.
Meanwhile, gold futures for April delivery traded at USD1,258.50 an ounce, up 0.15%. Prices held in a tight range between USD1,255.00 a troy ounce and USD1,260.10 an ounce.
Gold futures rallied to USD1,274.50 a troy ounce on Wednesday, the highest since January 27, before trimming gains to settle at USD1,256.90 an ounce, up 0.46%.
Market players were awaiting the ECB meeting amid speculation that the central bank may tighten monetary policy in order to stave off deflation and shore up the fragile recovery in the region.
Investors also looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as data on the trade balance.
Payroll processing firm ADP said Wednesday that non-farm private employment rose by a seasonally adjusted 175,000 last month, below expectations for an increase of 180,000.
While not viewed as a reliable guide for the government jobs report due on Friday, February 7, it does give guidance on private-sector hiring.
The Federal Reserve said it will keep a close eye on economic indicators before deciding to wind down its stimulus program even further.
The central bank tapered its monthly asset purchase program by another USD10 billion to USD65 billion a month at its last policy meeting.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery rose 0.25% to trade at USD3.197 a pound.